A Labor of Love
Pregnancy is a journey all of its’ own.
Although it isn’t season-specific, you will experience flavors of each element from conception to birthing during your pregnancy that will give you a deepening sense of connection to not only nature, but to yourself and your baby.
The cycle starts with the contractive Autumnal essence as you surrender to your pregnant body and let go of thoughts and feelings that no longer serve you; then shifts into the juiciness of your growing body that reflects the Earth element (Late Summer) and deep nourishment of your blood and baby; the depth of water and Wintery energy invites us to delve into our own psyche to discover how all life is interconnected and flowing continuously; whilst the celebration of fiery Summer energy making hormones and emotions flare and surge; eventually we experience the rebirth of Self, an unfolding into Spring energy that symbolises new growth and personal fruition.
Pregnancy is one journey you will have to make on your own, regardless of how much support, self help books, birth plans or drugs you have lined up. It’s about finding and owning your power, which incidentally is your ‘birth-right’ as a woman.
Millions of women experience this rite of passage of course but when you yourself are swelling in the belly and ankles, it feels like you are the first and only woman faced with the challenges and realities of growing a baby and then getting them out of your body!
From the moment we conceive our bodies feel and move differently. We may not be able to describe it exactly, but we immediately sense that we are not ‘alone’, that something has shifted deep within. It’s like our intuition suddenly switches on and amps up and despite a myriad of outer distractions and busy lifestyles calling us, we feel an urge to slow down and acknowledge the possibility that we may be pregnant.
It’s this natural calling back to ourselves however that too often many women miss. Or we feel and hear it but then ignore because fear gets the upper hand. We get into our heads and allow mind to dominate which in fact creates the opposite of what we truly want to manifest deep in our heart and soul – a memorable, empowering and hopefully natural, birthing experience. One that takes you beyond yourself and into the arms of the Divine Feminine. We go into story – mostly other peoples’ stories of trauma – and take on stuff that doesn’t support us, clouding our own script and taking us further away from trust and instinct.
Fear takes our power away from us, putting it into the hands of our granted, qualified and well meaning, Doctors and partners instead. But if we can learn to transform our fears and let go of all preconceived ideas and beliefs around birth, then we open the doorway to bliss. It starts with finding out about your own birth, how you entered the world and identifying any holding patterns in your heart that may block your ability to connect with all the love and trust and power within you. Talk to your mum, you may find that you not only get some valuable insights about your own behavior and attitude around birth but it can also help her heal any trauma that she may have been holding onto around her own experience. And as you are preparing to birth yourself from Woman to Mother, that’s a beautiful thing to share.
Energetically, pregnancy and birth is a rhythmic dance between the primeval elements of contraction and expansion.
Even though our pregnant bodies and emotions are expanding and swelling in more ways than one, this is the ideal time to contract – to contact our internal world, to contract and clear old trauma, buried relationship scars and beliefs about our sexual and feminine selves. If we do this work then we enter the birth space with clear intention and the resolve to release and fully expand. Birth is the culmination of all our thoughts, feelings and preparation, on all levels, condensed into several hours of mind, body and spirit expansion. It’s when you need to fully let go, expanding into your ripe sensual body and connecting with the energy that is your divine birthing right!
Birth is one of natures’ ways of calling us back to Centre, of stimulating our awareness via the most obvious instruments that we have: our bodies and our hearts. It also calls us back through food, via our belly centre, which is why you need to nourish yourself as your tummy blooms and surrender to the wonder of your body and what it does, without your conscious participation, to grow a human being. It’s mind-blowing really.
There are many toolkits of support, classes and therapies available to help you navigate your pregnancy and birth journey, but none so powerful I believe, as yoga. Yoga is our connective thread to the Divine, like a life line, our private umbilicus, and regular practice throughout your pregnancy will nourish your body as it changes, help alleviate common discomforts as they surface and deepen your connection to your breath, your baby and your belief that you are capable of birthing your baby from a space of power and courage.
Contrary to popular medical opinion, you actually birth your baby from your heart, not your vagina or your belly. If you anchor yourself in your heart you will be able to deal with whatever manifests during your labor. Nobody can predict for certain what will happen once your waters break – that is up to the goddess and the karmic story your baby has chosen – but you can create a *calm birth, one free of pain and fear (yes! it can and has been done), by staying in your heart space and mastering your mind.
The moment you go into your head, you hand over your power, the pain can intensify and the need for drugs will increase. And once you’re out of your body, you lose touch: you disconnect consciously from your baby who needs you to be strong and present and you deprive yourself from experiencing the indescribable bliss that is birth, as nature intended. If you’re in your heart, your fears will dissolve, your cervix will dilate and your baby will feel safe enough to release from your body. And in the instances where caesarean is necessary, being in your heart will never serve you more profoundly, keeping you emotionally strong and brave and connected to your baby. Birth is not a competition between vaginal and c-section – I view them both as natural, valid processes – and as long as you are in your breath and in trust, you can minimize or better process, any feelings of failure or disappointment if the latter eventuates. That will support how you and your baby bond as well as help you feel nourished and healed on all levels.
Breathe deeply and your labor will be full of love and light.
*Calm Birth: a birth concept and process originally created by renowned Sydney Doula and Childbirth Educator, Rebekah Fisher.
**Above image: The Divine Mother Kwan Yin, protector, guide and inspiration for all women, especially during pregnancy and childbirth.